Dark Hearts are made in acknowledgement of the fact that sometimes life loses its colour and just feels really hard. Many of you have trusted me with such stories which I am honoured to carry, and I have had times in my own life when despair, anxiety and heartbreak have washed away the rainbow colours of delight and hope, leaving me in shadows.
A few years ago, my sister and I both went through a challenging time. I'd separated from my husband and she was having difficulty conceiving a much-wanted baby. We shared our deepest fears with each other; hers that she would never be a mother, mine that I had lost my chance at love. We talked about how scary it was to hope for what we wanted and how we feared jinxing ourselves if we dwelt on our dreams.
Something beautiful happened in that conversation; we realised that while we were too afraid to hope for ourselves, we had immense faith in each other. I told my sister that I knew she would be a mother someday, I just knew it. She said she had complete faith that I would get another chance at love. We promised to hold onto hope for each other.
This is the inspiration behind Dark Hearts. They are made from grey and black wool felt, stitched together with coloured thread which symbolises the hope that holds us together in difficult times. The message of Dark Hearts is "I see your struggle and I will hold your hope until you are strong enough to carry it again."
I first wrote this post several years ago and many people have asked what's happened to my sister and I in the intervening years. My sister has three lovely sons, the eldest of whom is nearly 9 years old. Her journey to motherhood was not straightforward, but those dreams I held for her have come to beautiful fruition.
As for me, I have redefined what it means to "find love", and now embrace all the opportunities that come into my world. There is love in the big obvious places like my children, my closest friends and family. And there is love in small moments throughout every day - a hardship shared and compassion offered, the gentle pattering of my rabbit's heartbeat, a pocket heart pressed into the hand of a stranger.
And of course, there is love in every stitch of the hearts I sew. Love for the struggling, the affectionate, the lonely, the joyful and the scared. Love for all the diverse, imperfect, beautiful souls out there who need a little reminder of their own worthiness. I am learning that the more love I give, the more love I have, and that sometimes when our dreams are fulfilled, they look nothing like we expected them to.
This is My Brave
In May 2018, I gave a talk about anxiety and heart-making for This is My Brave Australia, a non-profit organisation reducing stigma around mental illness through storytelling. Here's what I talked about that night.Read more
Can a rabbit love a cat?
What fostering a kitten taught me about love, anxiety and world peace.Read more
Be The Change
Last weekend I was invited to attend a Mindful Compassionate Leadership workshop organised by the fabulous Polly McGee.Read more